Tonight at 8pm Channel 4 Dispatches will put the spotlight on the rise of ‘baby banks’ across the UK. Baby banks is a name that has been given to charities and voluntary organisations that give parents of young children essential products like nappies, clothes, cots and toys – they operate in a similar way to food banks – and are for those in the greatest need. Research for the programme shows that in the 9 months of this year alone over 35,000 families in the UK have accessed baby banks to provide them with essentials. In England that means as many as 1 in every 100 families with young children have used them. The programme will highlight the work and insights of Little Village a charity sounddelivery has worked closely with this year.
Between January and April this year sounddelivery ran a programme of storytelling workshops funded by the Big Lottery Fund Awards for All programme for women who were supported by the charity. Working alongside the founder Sophia Parker we delivered practical workshops in blogging, blogging, vlogging, photography and engaging with the media. Our workshops were tailored to the group but as part of it we invited, with the permission of the women involved, journalists for them to have conversations with. This is a way of building trusting relationships and demystifying the work of journalists. At a time when there is so much negativity towards the media this is a great way of building shared understanding. So we were delighted that the women got to meet Jenny Longden, Social Affairs producer for Channel 4 News and documentary maker Jezza Neumann from Truevision TV.
We always hope that this will lead to participants feeling more confident in working with journalists and in the longer term that it will lead to programmes being made on the issues the women want to amplify.
This response has been really positive, and these informal meetings have led to a report on Channel 4 News about universal credit featuring women who took part in the workshops. And tonight, Dispatches will screen Born on the Breadline a 30 minute documentary which came from an idea suggested by Sophia to Jezza who subsequently pitched it to the commissioners at Channel 4 Dispatches. (We’ll follow the exact process of how this came about in more detail in a future blog)
Although we haven’t seen the programme yet we know how important it is to put a spotlight on poverty and how families who want the best for their children really strive to give them the best start in life. From our work we know how difficult it is to speak about personal experiences of poverty so we want to say in advance thank you to all the people who have agreed to be filmed by the documentary and have shared their stories publicly.
Join in the conversation using this hashtag #dispatches #babybanks
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Meet Our Little Village Storytellers Sharing the stories from our Little Village Storytelling Workshops.